Students and residents of the Auburn-Opelika area will be getting a bigger farmer’s market soon.
The Parkway Farmer’s market, currently on Pepperell Parkway has acquired land on the 2300 block of First Avenue in Opelika.
According to Marty Ogren, assistant director of planning for the City of Opelika, the new land is 13,000 square feet and rests on three and a half acres. He said they are closing on the property soon.
The farmer’s market is currently housed in a gas station building and is 5,000 square feet.
The Parkway Farmer’s Market is a family business, and they haul their produce to the store from state markets, according to owner Mitch Nix.
Nix said what sets the farmer’s market apart from grocery stores is they transport the food from state markets to the store themselves, while grocery stores transport the produce from warehouses.
He said the farmers market checks for quality of the food it puts out while other grocery stores may not.
The farmers market has always been a family business for Nix. His brother owns a farmer’s market in Lagrange, Ga. and his father drives the trucks that deliver the food. His great grandfather even sold produce off of a wagon in the 1900s.
Nix said he deals with the same farms that his father once worked with.
While Nix studied at Georgia State University, he always knew he would work in the farmers market business.
According to Nix a new truck of produce comes in almost everyday. They even travel all the way to Miami, Florida to get produce.
The farmer’s market sells produce and some seasonal items such as pumpkins and Christmas trees.
According to Nix, he employees 10-12 people. He said while the farmer’s market is open year long its peak season is April-August.
Nix said the Parkway Farmer’s Market concentrates more on quality and price than fanciness.
The Parkway Farmers market has been in its current location for around 4 years.
The reason for relocating the farmer’s market is the business has outgrown the location it is currently in, said Nix. He also said they have been looking for new land for around one and a half to two years.
“We hope to start breaking ground next month” said Nix. He said they plan on opening the new location in around 9-11 months.
According to Nix the new location will have about 3 times more parking than the current location.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Rodney Gray, an employee of the farmer’s market. Gray sorts through fruits and veggies and makes sure they are up to quality.
Gray has been working at the farmer’s market for a year and a half and his favorite part of the job is the people he interacts with while working.